Charles Sims Gives West Virginia Mountaineers Dangerous Depth at Running Back

By Tyler Brett
charles sims
Brett Davis – USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia Mountaineers added an exceptional talent when Charles Sims announced he would be joining the team this fall after announcing his exit from the Houston Cougars last month. Dana Holgorsen will add the multi-talented back to his offense as he attempts to reload from the loaded offense the Mountaineers put on the field in 2012. With Sims in the mix, West Virginia just might have the best backfield in the Big 12 next season and one of the best in the entire country.

West Virginia already appeared to be in good shape at the running back position heading into 2013 with Andrew Buie back for his junior season. Buie led the Mountaineers in rushing last season, gaining 850 yards and scoring seven touchdowns on the ground. He also contributed in the passing game out of the backfield, catching 28 passes for 318 yards. His achievements were well-overshadowed by the exploits of Tavon Austin, who lined up all over the field for West Virginia last year, but was in line to step up as the man for the Mountaineers in 2013.

However, Buie is a bit limited as a back. At 5-foot-9, 188-pounds, the junior tailback is a speedster who can make people miss in the open field and take the ball to the house when he gets around the edge. He doesn’t have the size to really pound the ball between the tackles or push piles when holes weren’t readily available for him. That won’t be a problem with Sims joining him the backfield, however.

Sims is a bigger back at 6-foot, 213-pounds who can handle the rigors of the tough runs between the tackles. Last season with Houston, he gained 846 yards and scored 11 touchdowns while averaging 5.96 yards per carry over just nine games. He was equally dangerous in the passing game as well, catching 37 passes for 373 yards and scoring three touchdowns. He is a complete back with the size to run inside, the speed to run outside and the hands to be a threat as a receiver.

Combined with Buie in 2013, that will give West Virginia a dangerous duo out of the backfield. While it isn’t the same kind of combination as Stedman Bailey and Austin provided in the passing game last season, it could prove to be just as effective for Holgorsen in 2013.

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